One of the most common questions that uni students ask career counsellors is “what can I do with my degree?”

An easy way to answer this question is to use Linkedin.com. Linkedin is the world’s biggest career-oriented social media network. It’s a lot more than just an online resume or a virtual contacts list. It’s also useful for exploring potential career pathways. Here’s the best way to get started.

1. Have a good profile

Before you do any clicking around Linkedin, make sure you have a good profile set up. You should at least have a professional profile picture, a strong headline, and an expressive summary.

2. Click on Connections > Find Alumni

You can select the uni that you want to find alumni from, if you’ve studied at more than one.

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3. Search for your degree

Write the name of your degree in the search box and click on the most relevant result under “what they studied”.

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4. Refine by the industry or sector that interests you

This is where you’ll start to find the people that are the most like you.

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5. Browse the profiles of people who seem to be doing jobs that interest you

This is NOT stalking. People have written their profiles for people to read them. There’s no reason to feel awkward.

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Look for the following things to help understand how they got where they are:

  • What have they studied at uni? Do they have a higher degree, bachelor degree, diploma, certificate?
  • What was is the first job that they list? This may not be their actual first ever job, but it is the first job that they connect to their career.
  • Is their career path linear, or does it have a lot of twists and turns?
  • What kind of volunteer, club, or other extracurricular activity have they done? Does it connect to their work?
  • How have their skills developed from position to position?

Browse a few profiles of people with the same degree as you, working in the field that most interests you. This well help you develop a better understanding of what kind of career paths may be available.

And if you find a person whose career pathway is especially interesting or inspiring? Why not make contact with them and conduct an informational interview? Buy them a coffee and ask them what career advice they can offer. They may even become a mentor.